In a massive boost to Premier League clubs, chief executive Richard Masters has confirmed the plan to allow upto 10,000 fans into stadiums from May 17th if the government sticks to their plans. Most of the 2020/21 season Premier League has been played behind closed doors, which has affected clubs.
Beyond a three week schedule in December, Premier League games have been played behind closed doors since Project Restart in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. That has been the case across Europe with most leagues shutting their doors to fans. While the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 started their season with supporters inside grounds, that soon changed with an increase in COVID-19 cases.
However, in February, the UK government released a plan that could see upto 10,000 supporters inside stadiums from mid-May onwards. That saw reports indicate that the Premier League was set to move a round of fixtures to after May 17th in order to let clubs play a home game with fans present. That has now been confirmed by Richard Masters but he admitted that it’s only if the government’s “roadmap to get there” does indeed get there.
"Hopefully the final two fixtures of our season will have up to 10,000 supporters in them all. We've got to go past those first initial steps in the government's roadmap to get there, so hopefully that will be a fantastic finale to end the season," said Masters, reported the BBC.
Playing behind closed doors has adversely affected Premier League clubs and clubs across Europe financially, with many reporting losses in hundreds of millions. It saw Masters admit that “towards the end of this season” the league, and it’s clubs, would have lost £2 billion “since the start of the pandemic” in both matchday and broadcast revenue. He further added that the ramifications are immense because there’s “less money coming into football” and “less going out in the short-term”.
"Towards the end of this season we'll get towards £2bn lost since the start of the pandemic in matchday and broadcast revenue. Clubs have continued to invest in competitive match-day squads and the Premier League has continued to make good all of its contributions throughout the pyramid and wider football. But the ramifications are that ultimately if there's less money coming into football, then there'll be less money going out in the short term," Masters added.